Proper hydration can make you feel better, just like a hug


Proper hydration can make you feel better, just like a hug

Wearables revolution race is well underway. Today, personal health monitoring is almost mainstream and activity trackers are being widely used. However, often I find myself asking why. What purpose do our tracking devices serve?

Activity trackers and health monitors offer us a great piece of tech and provide useful insight into our lifestyles. But is it just about self-tracking out of curiosity or do they really encourage us to live a better life? Are we building the tools to provide ourselves with concrete advices on how to live healthier based on the real data?

Couple of weeks ago I spoke with Panu Keski-Pukkila, the CEO & Founder of Caktus, who’s mission is to inspire us to take better care of ourselves by changing our hydration habits. Panu and the rest of the Caktus team believe that water intake is one of the things we have been ignoring – most of us simply don’t hydrate ourself enough.

Tracking water intake can really be helping our physical health. The right level of water intake can help maintain physical performance and prevent illnesses. It can make one feel better, just like a hug would do. That’s how the first product of the company, The Hug, got its name.

The Hug consists of a mobile app and a sensor band. You put the sensor band around your bottle of water, and let the app take care of the rest. The app works as your personal hydration coach – all you have to do is input your personal data (age, weight) and it gives you your optimal hydration level. The sensor tracks different movements related to drinking, and the unique patented algorithm learns to recognise your unique drinking habits. You can change the sensor band from your bottle to a glass – size & material don’t make any difference.

Panu’s interest in building The Hug started many years ago, when he was heavily involved in training. Tappi, the COO of the company, used to be a heavy coffee-drinker, consuming 15 cups of coffee per day without any water intake. Neglecting hydration, both felt tired, powerless and experienced strong headaches. Very quickly they realised that there were many people around them experiencing the same problems – that’s when they decided to set up the company. About two years ago, here in Otaniemi.


But the team wanted to go global, right from the beginning. They got accepted into a 4-months program at one of the US accelerators, New Jersey Tech Launch, where they got some pre-seed funding and had a chance to built a great network. 100+ mentors they could get an advice from. A dream of many Finnish startups.

After completing the program, the team came back to Finland to work on finalising the product and prepare for the launch. The launch is planned to take place within couple of weeks, together with a crowd-funding campaign. The price of the sensor band is planned to be as low as €60, though it will retail for more later.


What’s next in the roadmap? Wrapping up US operations and launching the first retail pilots; the team is currently fundraising to gear up the manufacturing. Is there more to come? Panu insists it’s too early to disclose the future plans. But I’m sure the team will continue working on new solutions to improve our wellbeing. In the meantime, stay properly hydrated with The Hug!

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